Looking back at my collections of travel photos, I often wonder if I should have taken more photos of myself in the surroundings, instead of capturing the surroundings as I saw them. Should I have gotten on the other side of the camera lens and posed for posterity? Should I have mastered the art of taking a selfie? Should I have invested in a tripod and a selfie stick?
As a general rule I never spend more than three attempts posing for a photo, because every minute spent trying to get that perfect shot (be it for The Gram or otherwise) is a moment wasted in the present. There is little photographic evidence of my presence in the places I’ve been to, but I’ve thankfully got my stories all stored up somewhere in my memory banks (at least while I’ve still got my mental faculties).
This photo is perhaps one of the rare few with myself in it, caught in a moment where I felt completely free – and for that reason this is one of my all-time favourites and sits in a frame in my bedroom. It was a time in my life where I had closed the page on a chapter that I was very glad to leave behind. This was taken on a little island in Southern Leyte (the Philippines), where we had hopped off our dive boat to spend our surface interval between dives. A private barbecue lunch was being prepared for us, and I was reading in the shade when I spotted the local children playing by the water. They were taking turns to climb the tree and swinging from the rope as far out into the water as they could. After some apprehension I went out to join them, and they were soon laughing (not with me, but at me, I suspect), as I crashed pathetically into the water, flip-flops flying into the air and me desperately running to save them before the waves had them for lunch. And yet it felt completely liberating to be flinging myself from shore to sea, like a child of the island. That was a delicious day of blues.